Six 'Jacks earn first-team honors.
Nov. 20, 2012
FRISCO, Texas -
Seventeen members of the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team have been named to the 2012 All-Southland Conference team announced league officials Tuesday afternoon, including six first-team selections. The six first-teamers are receiver Cordell Roberson, running back Gus Johnson, offensive lineman John Steel, defensive ends Willie Jefferson and Darren Robinson and cornerback Josh Aubrey. Receiver D.J. Ward is the team's lone second-team honoree.
Among the 17 selections, six garnered first-team honors with one second-team selection. SFA also had nine players receive an honorable mention nod. The 'Jacks had 10 offensive, six defensive and a special teams player recognized on the 2012 team. SFA also landed three first-team selections on both sides of the ball.
Receiving his third-straight first-team honor, Roberson highlights the 2012 squad. The Walter Payton Award candidate produced another All-America type season hauling in 77 catches for 1,006 yards and 10 touchdowns despite missing two and a half games due to injury. The school's all-time leading receiver leaves SFA tied for 12th all-time at the FCS level with 39 touchdown catches.
The SLC's all-time leader in touchdown catches, Roberson's injury kept him from becoming the conference's all-time leader in two other categories missing the league receptions and receiving yards records by fewer than 10 catches and a 100 yards.
Johnson proved to be a bruising back who ran over opponents throughout the 2012 season. The Gilmer, Texas native was second in the league averaging nearly 100 yards per game. He finished the year with 154 carries for 954 yards and 14 touchdowns which ranks second only to the league player of the year Tim Flanders.
Johnson had two breakout performances that saw him break the 200-yard barrier twice in 2012. He rushed for 215 yards and four touchdowns against nationally ranked Central Arkansas, and closed out the season with 211 yards in the win over Northwestern State. Johnson's 954 yards are the most by an SFA back since the 1970 season.
Steel is making his third appearance on the all-conference squad. A preseason All-SLC pick, Steel has led an offensive front that has ranked among the nation's top 25 for the past four seasons, and was ninth nationally in 2012. The 'Jacks surrendered fewer than a sack per contest despite putting the ball in the air more than 670 times.
The bookends of the 'Jacks defensive line, Jefferson and Robinson made things tough on opposing offensive lines. SFA finished the year ranked among the nation's top 25 in sacks and tackles for losses. The duo ranked 1-2 in the league in sacks, and tied for fifth in the conference in tackles for losses. The 2011 SLC Newcomer of the Year, Jefferson posted eight sacks and 11.5 TFLs, while Robison rebounded from and injury-plagued 2011 campaign to record 7.5 sacks.
Aubrey is making his fourth consecutive appearance on the all-conference team, and his second first-team honor. A four-year starter, Aubrey finished the season with 65 tackles, including 7.5 for losses, two sacks and two interceptions.
Ward stepped up to be a go-to player in his first season in a purple and white uniform. He finished the season with 62 catches for 762 yards, which ranks second to only Roberson in the SLC.
SFA had six offensive players receive honorable mention recognition, which included quarterback Brady Attaway, receivers Mike Brooks and Ryan Gambel and offensive linemen Austin Wright, Andrew Ratliff and Ryne Chambers. The defensive players to receive and honorable mention honors are linebackers Ryan Epperson and Colin Garrett, safety Caleb Nelson and kicker Jordan Wiggs was the lone specialist.